It Is Not Yours: Part 1 (of 4) (with audio)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ancient past of the Americas much more than I ever have, and actually I’m hooked. It’s geology that’s done it, despite the feeling of dusty barrenness and general boredom I routinely felt in classes where geology came up. The encounter with an unfathomably ancient past through a stone in my hand reversed years of negligence.

So here’s the first installment of a poem in four parts.

It Is Not Yours I

Lucca Daniel Green        17 January 2023
     The glimmer of fragments
I collect them,
to make them
I always chase a lost cause.

It’s a mix of jasper in every color, agate-fragments from so many shattered geodes, and even a few probable geodes intact. If I weren’t seeing these same kinds of rocks all over the area, I’d be forced to think that a rockhound had scattered their collection on this property. And the green rocks! So many beautiful greens!!! And they’re even my favorite kind of greens, olive and chartreuse! Epidote everywhere!

I’ve found the same variety of rocks all up the slope of the hill behind my house (but only on the summit in one spot), so I feel confident that they belong to this spot, so they weren’t imported in a load of gravel. Even still, you can also find this assortment in the mix paving the roads around the neighborhood as well. Before now I didn’t pay attention to the pebbles in the asphalt, so I can’t say if it’s the same mix everywhere or only within this area. (That depends on the materials for the roads, how locally sourced they are, which I also don’t know.)

Ultimately, I’m not collecting these rocks to keep them. There are maybe three rocks that I would like to keep with me, but that is all. All of these stones and pebbles are going to go into an impermanent mosaic.

As of right now, I don’t even want to open up the known geodes to see inside them. There is too much splitting open as it is. And what good would come of it other than the temporary satisfaction of my curiosity: neither I nor the dissected geode will be whole again. The geode, obviously, but it would also open up a hunger in me to see inside every rock. And there is something remarkably irreverent in splitting open a rock, though I can’t quite say why I feel that way.

Instead I’ll unite them, green with green, orange with orange, red with red, and put them to use to lay out ephemeral scenes of beauty and organic life.

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